United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board

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The United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is a military unit that provides forecasts of long-range science and technology.:162

Scientific Advisory Board Chairmen
1944–1954: Dr. Theodore von Kármán (Chairman Emeritus −1963):172
1955–58 Dr. James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle, Maj Gen
1962–64: Dr. H. Guyford Stever
1982–86 Dr. Eugene E. Covert
1995–96 Dr. Gene McCall

Scientific Advisory Board Military Directors
1944–1946: Gen Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold :172
1946–47: Maj Gen Curtis E. Lemay
1947–1948: Lt Gen Laurence Craigie1
1948–52,54- : Maj Gen Donald L. Putt


  • 1944 – 6/7 August: Arnold met with Theodore von Kármán on the LaGuardia airport tarmac to request he head the Army Air Force Long Range Development Program.:89,126 Similar to his establishment of the Bell/GE jet engine team in 1941, the establishment of the advisory program was totally secret.:128
  • 1944 – 23 October: von Kármán designated AAF consultant on scientific matters.:128
  • 1944 – 7 November: Arnold provided official written instructions for the AAF Consulting Board for Future Research (AAFCBFR) formed (renamed Army Air Force Science Advisory Group, SAG on 1 December):150,162,185
  • 1944 – 23 November: Karman's first report published for the SAG:150
  • 1945 – 1 May::134 The "von Kármán mission":135 the SAG portion:134 – a small part of Operation Lusty:133 – arrived in Paris:134 to inspect enemy laboratories:133 and included Hugh Dryden (deputy):135, H. Guyford Stever (in place of Dr. L. Dubridge who was unavailable):151, H. S. Tsien:135
  • 1945 – 13 July: von Kármán met Arnold in Paris after having traveled Europe:143
  • 1945 – 30 July: Summary of von Karman memo (initial report):146 to Arnold documenting SAG's travel's to that point.:151
  • Kármán, Theodore von (22 August 1945). "Atomic Energy for Jet Propulsion". Where We Stand: First Report to General of the Army H. H. Arnold on Long Range Research Problems of the AIR FORCES with a Review of German Plans and Developments. "The size and performance of the craft driven by atomic power would depend mainly on ... reducing the engine weight to the limiting value which makes flight at a certain speed possible." 
  • von Karman, Theodore (1992). "Toward New Horizons: SCIENCE , the Key to Air Supremacy". 
  • 1946 – 6 February: last formal meeting of the AAF SAG, with Meritorious Civilian Service Awards presented to members:158
  • 1946 – 17 June::146 first meeting of the newly formed Scientific Advisory Board:159
"It was the clamor of ICBM development which finally established the Scientific Advisory Board as an independent entity":170
  • 1946 – 29 August: Scientific Advisory Board forwarded its first set of program recommendations to General Spaatz.:161

Scientific Advisory Board Commemoration Speakers3
Dr. Eugene E. Covert
Gen Ronald R. Fogleman
Mr. Harry Hillaker
Dr. Robert G. Loewy
Dr. Hans Mark
Dr. Courtland D. Perkins
Gen. Bernard A. Schriever
Dr. Sheila E. Widnall

  • 1948 – 14 May: Scientific Advisory Board charter (AFR 20–30) approved by Spaatz-Karman:163
  • 1949 – 11 July: Ridenour Committee first meeting prior to touring/reviewing Air Force facilities:165
  • 1949 – 21 September: Ridenour/Doolittle Report:181 approved:165
  • 1949 – 3 November: Scientific Advisory Board Special Committee meeting
  • 1953: Scientific Advisory Board Nuclear Weapons Panel (von Neumann committee) formed after the November 1952 "Mike shot":170[1]
  • 1953 – 30 March: Scientific Advisory Board Executive Committee meeting:182
  • 1960s: Scientific Advisory Board studies initiated to examine satellite navigation.:199
  • 1994 – 9–10 November: USAF Scientific Advisory Board Commemorative History
  • 1995 – 15 December: USAF science and technology forecast New World Vistas briefing of draft report (SECAF conference room)

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  • ^1 When named the military director of the Scientific Advisory Board, Craigies was the commander of the newly established Directorate of Research and Development:163
  • ^2 Dr Ivan Getting resigned from the Scientific Advisory Board in 1947 "because you the SAB weren't doing anything" "Scweinhund" muttered von Karman:161
  • ^3 In addition to Speakers, numerous interviews were conducted for the 50th Anniversary of the Scientific Advisory Board.
  1. ^ von Neumann, John; et al. (23 March 1954). Nuclear Weapons Panel Preliminary Report. USAF Scientific Advisory Board: Nuclear Weapons Panel. 


  • Dik A. Daso (2002). Architects of American Air Supremacy: General Hap Arnold and Dr. Theodore Von Kármán. University Press of the Pacific. p. various (see superscripts). ISBN 0-89875-861-0.